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Meet State College’s Furry Celebrity: Wallace the Bunny

by on February 20, 2020 4:30 AM

Big blue-lavender eyes covered by long white bangs, large floppy gray ears, and a tiny white nose constantly on the move. Wallace the Bunny has not only captured the heart of Finatics Aquarium and Pet Center owner Jeff Bailey, but the hearts of the State College community.

The 2-year-old, Lion Lop rabbit is more than just a store pet. He’s a member of the Finactics family.

“We usually have a thing on his cage that says ‘Wallace is part store owner’ and there’s some truth to that. He’s part of the extended family,” said Bailey, who owns and operates Finatics at the Nittany Mall. “I’ve had one lady offer me $1,500 for him and I told her ‘no’ and she was mad. People try buying him all the time, but it’s not about the money. It’s not just that he’s a pet. He’s part of the family. He’s part of the store.”

This tiny rabbit is one of the reasons people continue to visit the Nittany Mall. With a diminishing number of stores, people around Centre County still stop in throughout the day to visit the furry State College celebrity and chat with Bailey.

Both younger and older residents have fallen in love with Wallace. From families with younger children to people taking their daily walks around the mall, this rabbit receives constant attention and is loved by many.

“People come in all the time. We have several walkers, several senior citizens that come in just to see him every day and that’s kind of the highlight of their day,” said Bailey. “People don’t realize until they see Wallace what an amazing animal a rabbit is in general. He knows who’s who and what’s going on and once people interact with him, it changes how they see rabbits. He’s really changed a lot of people’s opinions on rabbits in general.”

The half Lion Lop, half Holland Lop was brought to the store two years ago by a rabbit breeder who often breeds the rabbits that are for sale at Finatics. Wallace’s relaxed and friendly attitude immediately caught the attention of Bailey and the other employees.

Unlike the other baby rabbits, Wallace was able to be turned on his back right away, showing how docile and friendly he was. As soon as he was introduced to customers, Wallace was social and playful, and Bailey immediately realized how truly special this rabbit was.

“My favorite is when we first realized he was such a neat animal. We have lots of rabbits, we raise them all ourselves and sometimes you can turn one on its back and you can put a rabbit to sleep but that wasn’t the case with him,” said Bailey. “He was so laid back and he didn’t care what you did with him. So, we were kind of like ‘Yeah you’re a special rabbit.’ I guess that’s the one that stands out to me.”

When asked why Wallace was chosen as the store pet and not a pet for Bailey’s home, he responded by saying how he wanted the community to be able to enjoy this lovable animal. He hopes by keeping him in the store, people will realize what a great pet a rabbit can be.

“He’s a buddy," Bailey said. "It’s one of those things where you’re busy and you’re kind of like a little bit stressed out and even if you just watch Wallace, he can help destress, he can make you smile when things are a little bit rough.”

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